Hope everyone has been having, or had, a fantastic holiday weekend. And I hope that some of you got to get away, as we have. Been up in Saratoga, and the weather has been, with the exception of Sunday, rather exceptional. Hasn't been a total track trip; spent some glorious days up at Lake George, Lake Moreau, and the Berkshires So, sorry for the lack of posting; we'll get back in the swing of things before too long.
But I did want to mention the goings-on at Mohawk Raceway on Saturday night, where many of the top stars in harness racing gathered for an evening of big races with big purses. Pullthepocket wrote of what was an active night at the tote machines.
Over $5.1 million was wagered on the card. It was the largest handle at the Milton oval in its existence.A commenter pointed out that if you excluded the show pools, where there was some active bridgejumping action, the last race outhandled the other 11 combined, and easily. And then he pointed out that the 14% Pick Five out-handled the carryover Pick Six at Del Mar on Saturday.
However, what if I told you that for all that purse money and all those stakes, the handle after the first eleven races was $2.7 million, but the handle for the last race - one race, a nondescript $30,000 conditioned affair - was $2.3 million alone.
You'd think I was cray cray as the kids say.
But that's what happened. The last race of the evening had a carryover of the Super High Five, and bettors, going after a takeout reduced pool went to work.
Stakes races, pomp, pageantry, a hundred or so horses and a couple of millon dollars brought in $2.7 million through 11 races. A takeout reduction in one race brought in $2.3 million.
This is a betting game. One of these days the industry will treat it as such and be better off for it.